Northern Territories Affairs Administration, Cabinet Office
Initiatives taken by the Northern Territories Affairs Administration, Cabinet Office
The Northern Territories, consisting of Habomai Islands, Shikotan Island,
Kunashiri Island and Etrofu Island, are located immediately off the northeast
coast of Hokkaido Island. The islands were originally developed by Japan
and inhabited by Japanese residents. However, immediately after the end
of World War II in August 1945, the Soviet forces continued to advance
and subsequently occupied the Northern Territories. Since then, these islands
became places where Japanese people cannot live, despite the fact that
the territories continue to be a part of Japan. Russia continues to occupy
these territories to date without any legal ground.
The Northern Territories Affairs Administration are implementing various initiatives with a view to contributing to the solution of the Northern Territories Issue, under the Japanese government’s basic policy to resolve the issue of the attribution of the Four Northern Islands and to conclude a peace treaty. Those initiatives include measures aimed at raising awareness of the Northern Territories issue among Japanese people with a view to nurturing public support for the government’s diplomatic negotiation with Russia, support for campaigns for the reversion of the territories by various organizations and individuals, and exchange programs with the Four Northern Islands.
Cooperation with Northern Territories Issue Association
The Northern Territories Affairs Administration works in close cooperation with the Northern Territories Issue Association to support campaigns for the reversion of the territories and initiatives aimed at raising the awareness of the Northern Territories issue among the general public. These events and campaigns include mass rallies, so-called “Caravan” events, lectures and exhibitions, which are organized nationwide, including those organized by prefectural residents’ committees that are set up in every single prefecture in Japan. Many events take place in particular in the months of February and August, which are designated as Northern Territories Reversion Campaign months, in close cooperation with prefectural residents’ organizations across the nation and using various forms of media. The Northern Territories Affairs Administration is also taking initiatives to broaden the support base of the campaign for the reversion of the Northern Territories, including by targeting younger generations with the use of cartoon characters, as well as such new media as Facebook and Twitter.
Campaign for the Reversion of the Northern Territories
As a way to raise the awareness of the Northern Territories issue among Japanese people, and to give further boost to the campaign for the reversion of the Northern Territories nationwide, February 7 was designated as "Northern Territories Day". A National Rally to demand the return of the Northern Territories is held every year on Northern Territories Day, attended by the Prime Minister, the Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, representatives from political parties, former residents of the Northern Territories, and other people working for the campaign for the reversion of the territories.
National rally to demand the return of
the Northern Territories
Signature Collecting Campaign to demand
the return of the Northern Territories